Turkey Plans to Buy British Warplanes Amid Stalled F-16 Deal With US

Turkey plans to purchase a large package of weapons and military equipment from the UK amid a stalled F-16 deal with the US, according to a Middle East Eye report citing defense sources.

The potential sale was reportedly discussed during a recent meeting between Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar and his British counterpart, Ben Wallace.

Among the hardware under negotiation are Eurofighter Typhoons, C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft, and Type 23 frigates.

Turkey also wants new engines for its M60T main battle tanks.

“We are evaluating our options on these platforms but we aren’t in the final stages of negotiations,” one of the sources said, as quoted by Middle East Eye.

Stalled Deal With US

Turkey was on the verge of securing a $20-billion deal with the US to procure 40 Block 70 F-16 fighter jets and upgrade its current fleet of F-16 aircraft.

However, US lawmakers vowed to block the potential sale due to Ankara’s apparent rejection of Sweden and Finland’s decision to join NATO.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the procurement of F-16s and the issues surrounding the NATO bid of some European neighbors must be looked at separately.

“What is important here is whether the administration will be decisive or not. If it displays a strong stance against any steps to prevent this, the issue would be resolved,” Cavusoglu said, as quoted by Reuters.

The administration of President Joe Biden has already expressed its full support for selling advanced F-16s to Turkey despite Congressional opposition.

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